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Evolution of the fatty acid profile of subcutaneous back-fat adipose tissue in growing Iberian and Landrace × Large White pigs

  • R. Barea (a1), B. Isabel (a2), R. Nieto (a1), C. López-Bote (a2) and J. F. Aguilera (a1)...


The lipid content and fatty acid (FA) profile in pig tissues are strongly influenced by genotype and nutrient supply, with implications in meat quality. The de novo lipid synthesis and pattern of FA unsaturation could be an important cause of variation in the overall efficiency of energy utilization among breeds. To test the effects of pig genotype and CP supply on the evolution of back-fat tissue FA profile throughout the growing and finishing stages, 32 Iberian (IB) and Landrace × Large White (LR × LW) barrows were offered one of two diets differing in CP content (13% or 17% as fed). A pair-fed procedure (0.8 × ad libitum intake of IB pigs) was used. Subcutaneous fat samples were taken at the dorso-lumbar region at ∼38, 50, 65, 90 and 115 kg BW. Higher proportions of total monounsaturated FA (MUFA; P < 0.01) and lower proportions of total saturated FA (SFA; P < 0.01 to 0.05) were found in the outer back-fat layer of pigs both at 50 and 115 kg BW. Pig genotype affected the FA composition of both subcutaneous back-fat layers. The proportions of C18:0 and SFA in fat tissue were higher in IB than in LR × LW pigs from 38 to 65 kg BW, especially in the outer layer. In addition, MUFA contents were higher in IB pigs at 115 kg BW in both layers (+5% on average; P < 0.01). Increased proportions of C18:2 n-6 and polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) were found in LR × LW pigs, irrespective of the stage of growth and back-fat layer (P⩽0.02). At 50 kg BW, pigs receiving the high-protein diet presented the highest C18:2 n-6, C18:3 n-3, C20:5 n-3 and PUFA contents. A significant genotype × CP content interaction was observed for C18:3 n-3 because of the increased concentration of this FA in LR × LW pigs when offered the 17% CP diet (P < 0.05). Higher C16:0 and SFA contents (+5%; P = 0.03) were found in pigs offered the 13% CP diet and slaughtered at 115 kg BW. There was a genotype × CP interaction for MUFA concentration because of the higher MUFA content observed in IB pigs offered the highest protein content diet (P = 0.03). Our results suggest that genetic variation in de novo lipid synthesis and pattern of FA unsaturation might contribute to explain differences in back-fat FA profile of IB and LR × LW pigs under identical nutritional management. They could be also relevant to explain the low efficiency of nutrient and energy utilization in the IB pig.


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Supported by a contract from the JAE-postdoctoral Program (CSIC, Spain).



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